Posted on February 20, 2023
The Army Corps of Engineers is refusing to fund the Sand Key Beach nourishment project, which entailed restoring sand on the beaches from Clearwater to North Redington Beach. Updates on the issue were discussed at the Feb. 9 North Redington Beach commission meeting.
“Our beaches have lost 96% of our sand,” said Mayor Bill Queen.
Beach nourishment is integral in protecting the beach against storm surge and erosion as well as keeping the beaches intact for recreational purposes, so alternatives are on the table.
“Whatever we (NRB) decide, the BIG-C will back us up,” said the mayor, who shared that the other beach mayors of the Barrier Island Governmental Council are open to solutions.
Queen proposed a 3-fold plan that entails doing a critical assessment to triage which areas are in the most need, then do a feasibility study of groins to harden the breakwaters to save the beach, and finally, propose the installations of groin fields to the Army Corps of Engineers.
Groins are thin engineering constructions in the water built to prevent erosion and trap sand from migrating. During storms groins are also useful in mitigating waves, thereby relieving storm surge. Once the groins are installed, replenishment of sand and maintenance to the groins would be significantly lessened and less costly in comparison to ongoing beach nourishment projects.
In other matters
An ordinance amending the town’s comprehensive plan passed unanimously 5-0 on its second and final reading. The plan included the addition of a policy concerning affordable housing, a property rights element, and updates in terminology, data and analysis to reflect updates in population and housing data, future land use data and map, and the schedule of capital improvements.
A resolution passed unanimously to cancel the 2023 municipal election scheduled for March 14. The mayor, commissioner for Seat 1 and commissioner for Seat 2 were up for election, but only one person filed for each seat by the close of qualification time on Dec. 16, 2022. Running unopposed, Mayor Bill Queen, Seat 1 Commissioner Gary Curtis and Seat 2 Commissioner Richard Bennett are considered reelected.
Kay Gibbs was unanimously appointed to the Beach Advisory Board for a 2-year term ending in 2025. Gibbs works at the DoubleTree Beach Resort in the town.
Queen announced that the county sewer lift station is almost complete. As soon as the lift station is finished in the next few months, construction of the emergency services building will begin this summer.
“The emergency services building will be built on top and adjacent to the new lift station, where there will be fire and police (outlets),” said the mayor.